Hartford musician to be honoured with MBE

AN MBE for services to brass band music has been awarded to David Read, a leading musician and music adjudicator. Mr Read, 75, who lives in Hartford with his wife, Pat, told The Hunts Post: This is a great honour and a great surprise. A player, teacher,

AN MBE for services to brass band music has been awarded to David Read, a leading musician and music adjudicator.

Mr Read, 75, who lives in Hartford with his wife, Pat, told The Hunts Post: "This is a great honour and a great surprise."

A player, teacher, conductor and adjudicator, Mr Read was a champion cornet player of Great Britain three times with the G.U.S Footwear Quartet and once the outright solo champion.

During his time as senior instrumental teacher for the (then) Cambridge Area Education Authority, he conducted his youth bands to five National Youth Band Finals.

As conductor of the Cambridge Co-operative Band for nearly 15 years, there were regular broadcasts on BBC radio and appearances in the finals of major competitions.

Mr Read also helped found the National Adjudicators Association eight years ago and has adjudicated all over the world since starting in 1974. Adjudicators are confined to a box during band competitions and award prizes based on what they hear.

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His highly readable book, Beyond the Box, a history of brass bands over the past 60 years - combined with his autobiography, was published in 2004.

Born in a mining village in Senghenydd, South Wales, Mr Read only spent six weeks there before his family moved to Yorkshire.

He began playing the cornet at the age of 15 when he worked as an apprentice electrician in South Yorkshire, starting his music career with the Askern Collery Silver Prize Band.

When he was first taught to play the cornet, his teacher Harry Bellamy told him: "See that hole down there, lad, get thee bloody tongue down it and blow."

Teaching brought Mr Read to Huntingdonshire. In 1970 he helped form the Huntingdon and Peterborough Youth Brass Band, with a base in Huntingdon.

In 1973 the Huntingdon Youth Concert Band was set up. Weekend courses for both bands were held at a residential centre at Grafham Water, among the names who helped was Harry Danks, principal cellist of the BBC Symphony Orchestra.

Among the players were also Mr Read's own children, Vernon and Helen.

Vernon, a teacher at Bottisham Village College, died of cancer in 2001, aged 37. Helen is a consultant pathologist at the General Hospital in St Helier, Jersey.

In 1983 Mr Read was given a medal for outstanding services to brass bands by the Worshipful Company of Musicians. In 1996, he received the English Masters' Dedicated Services Award.

He said on Monday: "I am delighted, privileged and honoured."

He plans to collect his MBE accompanied by his wife, daughter and son-in-law, Steven.

INFORMATION: Beyond the Box by David Read is published by Jagrins Music Publications. E-mail info@jagrins.com

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